A humanized monoclonal antibody specific for invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells for in vivo depletion. PLoS One 8: e76692. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0076692 PMID: 24086759

Abstract

Invariant Natural Killer T (iNKT) cells are a subset of T cells recognizing glycolipid antigens presented by CD1d. Human iNKT cells express a conserved T cell receptor (TCR)-α chain (Vα24-Jα18) paired with a specific beta chain, Vβ11. The cells are both innate-like, with rapid cytokine release, and adaptive-like, including thymic positive selection. Over activation of iNKT cells can mediate tissue injury and inflammation in multiple organ systems and play a role in mediating the pathology associated with clinically important inflammatory diseases. At the same time, iNKT cell activation can play a role in protecting against infectious disease and cancer or modulate certain autoimmune diseases through its impact on both the innate and adaptive immune system. This suggests that approaches to cause iNKT cell reduction and/or depletion could treat inflammatory diseases while approaches to promote activation may have therapeutic potential in certain infections, cancer or autoimmune disease. This report summarizes the characterization of a humanized monoclonal depleting antibody (NKTT120) in the cynomolgus macaque. NKTT120 is being developed to treat iNKT mediated inflammation that is associated with chronic inflammatory conditions like sickle cell disease and asthma. NKTT120 binds to human iTCRs and to FCγRI and FCγRIII and has been shown to kill target cells in an ADCC assay at low concentrations consistent with the FCγR binding. iNKT cells were depleted within 24 hours in cynomolgus macaques, but T cell, B cell, and NK cell frequencies were unchanged. iNKT cel

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